The impact of EU law on English law before Brexit was significant, as the UK was a member of the EU and was bound by its laws and regulations. EU law was incorporated into English law through a range of mechanisms, including the European Communities Act 1972 and the principle of direct effect, which allowed individuals to invoke EU law in UK courts. Here are some of the key impacts of EU law on English law before Brexit:
Harmonisation of laws: EU law helped to harmonise laws across Europe, including in areas such as employment law, consumer protection, and environmental law. This led to the development of new legal principles and concepts in the UK, such as the concept of indirect discrimination in employment law.
Development of UK law: EU law influenced the development of UK law, as UK courts were required to take into account the decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in their interpretation of EU law. This led to the development of new legal principles and concepts, such as the concept of proportionality in administrative law.
Protection of fundamental rights: EU law provided protection for fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the right to free movement, the right to equal treatment, and the right to privacy. These rights could be invoked by individuals in UK courts, and UK courts were required to interpret UK law in a way that was consistent with EU law.
Impact on policy and legislation: EU law had an impact on UK policy and legislation, as it required the UK government to ensure that its laws and policies were consistent with EU law. This led to changes in areas such as data protection, competition law, and consumer protection.
Access to EU institutions: EU law provided UK citizens and businesses with access to EU institutions, such as the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice, which could help to resolve disputes and influence EU policy.
EU law had a significant impact on English law before Brexit, and played an important role in promoting harmonisation of laws across Europe, protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, and shaping the development of UK law.
Get a head start on your legal education with our First Year LLB Study Guide.